Navigating the ins and outs of the Paid Parental Leave system can be nothing short of confusing, so we thought it would be useful to pull together some information that you can use to help determine if you are eligible and if so, what you can receive.
For example, did you know that you may be eligible for paid parental leave if you are self-employed, even if your business is not yet making a profit or you are not paying yourself a wage? You don't have to have been working full time, can have been employed by multiple businesses, and you can even have been working overseas or been on paid leave for a certain amount of time.
The specific "work test" conditions for eligibility are:
- you need to have been working for 10 of the 13 months before the birth/adoption of your new child;
- you must have worked 330 hours, which works out at about 1 day a week, in that 10 month period; and
- you can't have more than 8 weeks gap between each work (or paid leave) day.
If you do meet the criteria, the Paid Parental Leave you can receive is currently $695 per week (before tax) for up to 18 weeks.
A good place to start when determining your eligibility is this site from The Department of Human Services. Helpfully, it shows some examples of different situations which may impact whether or not you are eligible.
It's a good idea to get as much of this organised well before your baby arrives as you can, as things like the application process and verification of your details can take time - plus you probably won't feel like doing this kind of thing late in to your pregnancy or once you have a little bundle of joy in your arms! If you do leave it until later, just be sure to put your claim in before your baby turns 1.